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Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Arielle, Oct 29, 2011.
Because the feed passes thru the meat birds so fast, are probiotics worth while?
mixing plain yogurt, (preferably dannon, cuz it has the most active cultures in it) with their food, will be just as affective and alot cheaper JMO...
Or instead of buying yogurt (because the really good stuff with the most active cultures in it is so pricey) you could learn to make yogurt in a crock pot! It's really super easy, and you only have to buy the high dollar stuff once to get started - don't know for sure if it does anything spectacular for the birds - but pretty much everything here gets a little yogurt and it certainly doesn't hurt at all.
Yes it is super easy to make and is alot cheaper.. I used a small amount of plain yogurt that I already had to make mine and it turned out great, never thought of using the crockpot though, that is a great idea. I made mine in the oven..
And pray tell would a chicken need such a thing in their diet, or is this just another crazy human carry over idea, can someone please explain this to me ??. I have raised healthy chickens for longer than I care to mention and have never needed such a thing so why do others ??.
Well...i don't know that they NEED it...but we have dairy goats and thus milk...you can give the chickens milk - I do it every time a goat freshens. The chickens, dogs and pigs get that first milk for 2 weeks, because I worm the goats post kidding as a "just in case" AND that milk is still technically colostrum and not really milk at first - to my taste buds YUCK...doesn't even look the same the first couple of days and even when it does look the same...I'd still rather feed it to something else...JUST IN CASE...so i do and they love it. The problem with milk is they tend to find a way to spill it every where and then you get that oh so delicious soured milk smell. GROSS! I don't know why, but the yogurt doesn't tend to make the same mess - maybe because it's thicker and can't sink into the ground before they can suck it down? I don't know...just my observations here...
Then, for me at least, I had the "I have milk now what do I do with it" factor...I mean, I make soap, cheese and yogurt for us people...but especially with the yogurt, when I notice it's getting close to "expiring" I'll throw that to the chickens or pigs or even back to the goats too....the probiotics are rumored to be great for their digestive tract...I'm not a doctor or scientist...couldn't give you any proof...I just know everything here likes plain yogurt except me - I liek honey and vanilla in mine
I will say, with my laying hens, I NEVER - NEVER I say - had to buy oyster shell! There's all kinds of calcium in yogurt - duh right? I never once bought or provided oyster shell and only ONCE got a funky, no shell egg and maybe twice got one with a shell thin enough that I noticed it was thin and that was during a time when I was working way too much and not making/providing yogurt...which I remedied...
So...I SUPPOSE....if one were to hypothesize and all...with these broilers...since they grow so fast...a good source of calcium certainly couldn't hurt their development of bone structure...I mean, it makes sense to me. I have no proof...but it's a plausible theory right? Along with the probiotic thing...and being able to use what we have available (not every one has milk in their yard I know)
Mostly, around here, with the goats, it's a good way of using what we have already to supplement feed and it makes a GREAT treat in the hot months of the summer if you freeze it first! Helps the chickens and pigs stay cool, all that "frozen yogurt" (though I don't add sugar and stuff like I do with the people frozen yogurt)....so it's an all around good thing and it helps me to use up what I already have - kinda like free ranging the laying flock cut WAY down on the feed bill...now for someone who doesn't have milk just flowing out of teats on site...I could see how this would NOT be economical...but it seems to work for us at least...I know in a couple more weeks I'll be offering some to the broiler chicks we have now...not a lot...just a treat for them...it seems to be a good thing At least here....like I said...if you gotta run to the store for yogurt or milk, that might change the game plan some...
Chickens are lactose intolerant, they cannot process the yogurt and they derive very little benefit from it if any. There's over 1000 different probiotic bacteria types, what are the odds you've got a dairy product from a mammal that is beneficial to a bird?
Quote:Probably slim to none...but they seem to love it, especially when it was super hot this summer and it was frozen...none ever seemed bother by it and I didn't have any loses during the extreme heat (and then of course we moved a week later and I'm now starting all over)...plus, you should see the chickens run to the milk stand when they see the "kicky milker" up there - they KNOW that goat had a 50/50 chance of spilling that bucket...and they waited like little vultures...only for that one goat, then they would wander off...so maybe they aren't getting anything beneficial but it didn't hurt...idk...found these links though http://www.thepoultrysite.com/poult...safer-healthier-chickens-researchers-discover
and this one... http://poultryone.com/articles/probiotics.html
Both of them talk about it being beneficial...IDK ...not a scientist...but it seems to work for us and I don't mind sharing what we don't use for the people with the critters...beats throwing it away...
ETA: They don't get a ton all day every day...just enough for everyone to get a little, which I think makes a difference...I mean, if I ate only yogurt all day, I'd be sick, so it's not like the sole portion of their diet...just a fun easy to provide treat with some good benefits I feel
Gut health and cocci control. Using probiotics is just a way to seed the digestive tract as early as possible with 'good' bacteria and thereby help prevent its being seeded with 'bad' bacteria (e coli and salmonella for instance). However birds pick up various lactobaccilli from the environment. They're practically everywhere. Whether this is done with kefir, probiotic powder or fresh unwashed greens is probably irrelevant if the environment is healthy. Good on you Al for having a healthy chick raising environment.
Incidentally, I'm seeing good results using kefir as both probiotic (from day one) and coccidiosis prevention. I've got 26 x 5 week old incubator hatched chicks on damp warm ground with only kefir (soured milk) as a coccidiostat. This is the same ground where non-kefir-fed chicks developed coccidiosis a few months ago. That's not exactly scientific, nor is it a study, but I'm inclined to believe it works.
By the way, soured milk has extremely low to zero lactose. Yoghurt has added skim milk and does contain lactose, though not in the same quantities as in whole milk. I'm seeing very good droppings from birds even on quite high quantities of kefir (i.e. enough to make up the mash) so as far as lactose intolerance goes it seems kefir is fine.
As a further note for anyone interested, I've read that the bacteria in yoghurt don't survive for very long in the digestive tract, so they don't actually 'colonise' it (which would make them better as a probiotic; rather they're a 'prebiotic' because they help make gut conditions right for proper bugs to colonise). Some argue that kefir bugs do survive and can colonise the digestive tract... Food for thought.
regards to all,
Crikey, just realised how misleading it could be to talk about kefir as a coccidiostat. Please, please don't rely on this when raising large batches of meat birds -- I have no idea if it's 100% reliable, though it's working for me, and there are important husbandry considerations (never overcrowd, expose birds to cocci from first day of life, seed brooder with adult hen droppings, take weather into consideration...).
I have read many things, and I'm sure they're not all true. One though was a study using unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar which showed that it caused the birds to eat more. Some use ACV in the water, me included, for probiotics, vitamins, and to help with the algae. The meaties are growing great. Did the ACV help that? I can't really say since this wasn't any sort of scientific test. I make my own ACV for myself so this wasn't me going out to get something expensive to add.
Another thing I read was that the lactose in raw milk is somehow different than in pasteurized milk. Much more digestible, even for the lactose intolerant. And soured, yes, no lactose there for sure. It is good for them? I don't know. It certainly doesn't seem bad for them. I make Kefir for myself too, and often drain it to make it thick, leaving me with a lot of kefir "whey" which the chickens love when mixed with mash or rolled oats. Again, it's not anything I get specially for them, it's a byproduct of something I'm doing anyway. The whey is still full of those probiotics the Kefir has and while I did have them get the runs from yogurt before, the kefir whey (or even whole kefir when I have too much) has never caused a problem. Does it keep them healthy? All I know is, no illnesses in two years. I've no idea if my husbandry is responsible or if I'm just lucky there.
Do they need it? Probably not, I don't know. Does it help? Well, it sure doesn't hurt them. I wouldn't be going and getting this stuff special for the meaties but if you have it anyway, why not? And Kefir, besides having a lot more "probiotics" in it, is made at room temperature, much easier than yogurt.